Tuesday, December 27, 2016

KPC year in review

2016 is almost in the books. Here's a look at what tickled your fancy this year in KPC.


1. Brexit this: where I declaim that Brexit is no big deal and ask everyone to chill.

2. Spanish Pipedream: The inspiring tale of Katie Ledecky and the community pool that spurned her

3. The problem with Macro in one blog post: the theory is whack and the data don't fit.

4.  Thank You Donald Trump: support for the Donald blows up my belief that America is woke.

5. My Dog is a Democrat: Mungowitz has a funny!

6. 30th Anniversary: Mungowitz chronicles his anniversary preparations

7. The Wisdom of Paul Krugman: People, can you believe it? PK got something wrong!

8. Hasta el Papel Higenico Siempre: The EYM goes to Cuba

9. Angus's Hateful 8 Review: Walton Goggins rocks!

10.  Dumping on Anti-Dumping: when I solve for the equilibrium, no one has a job.


KPC: Politics, Macro, Culture, all dished out by two friends who have never managed to grow up.

Together, let's make 2017 the year of the Cheese!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Skippy Has A Christmas Pudding!

Every year we have a pretty big party for the birthday of the EYM.  This year 14 people showed up.

I made boiled shrimp with a spicy cocktail sauce, homemade mozzeralla cheese with crackers and kalamata olives, and a variety of other appetizers.

Then, dinner was marinated grilled octopus, meatballs, baked whiting, Mekong swai with a pretzel crust, melanzane parmagiana, pasta with a beef/sausage meat tomato sauce, zucchini/mushroom/broccoli sauteed vegetables,  honey dill carrots, and garlic bread. 

For afterwards the LMM had made a variety of cookies.And I had made a Brit-styled boiled pudding.  The fruit marinated in brandy for a week, and then spices and bread crumbs and little flour.  Rigged up a boiler, boiled it for six hours.


Skippy Squirrelbane was hanging out under the table, growing increasingly upset at his inability to share in this bounty. You could tell he was thinking "I have the stupidest humans on the planet.  Why can't they see I want a meatball?"

There were lots of leftovers.  Skippy felt he deserved something, I guess.  So we put almost everything away.  We did not put away the pudding, though.  It is completely soaked in brandy, I mean soaked, and I had put too much allspice and cloves in it.  The fresh ground spices were just overwhelming.  It tasted good, sort of, but one or two bites were all you could handle, because of the over-spiced taste.

When we came down in the morning, we saw this. This is the plate that had had the pudding on it. Leftover pudding must have weighed three pounds, it was soaked in brandy, and almost inedible, remember. Or, not entirely inedible, perhaps, as it turns out.

The serving spatula was on the floor, in the middle of a big sticky spot.



Skippy is usually pretty bouncy in the morning.  Today he seems to be taking the "Mannequin Challenge":


If you said, "Skippy!  Hello, Skippy!  How are you?"  you get this dirty look.



Skippy had him some puddin'.  Now there may be some difficulties.  Does boiled pudding overly restrict, or overly facilitate, the passage of....well, time?  We'll keep you posted.

And have a great holiday!


Chrixmix Mixtape



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Don Van Vliet, Tom Waits, Mark E. Smith, James Chance, The Ramones, and of course your old pals Angus and Mungowitz. Only 7 more days for the SMOD to give us sweet release!






















Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"The people have spoken....the bastards"

People, I just don't like Trump or many of his proposed appointees. I wish he wasn't president elect.

But the reactions I see from so many folks also concern me:

First, we must have a recount (in the places we want only). Then, convince electors to be faithless. Then, get rid of the electoral college. Then postpone the inauguration until after an "investigation".
None of those things are going to happen, nor should they happen. If we are going to change the rules, it has to happen ex ante. We cannot try to change the rules to reverse an outcome we don't like.

This isn't just about Pumpkin Spice taking office, it's about the future of the rule of law and the electoral institutions of the country.

So many criticized Trump pre-election for claiming the election was rigged and hinting that he might not accept the results. And now many of those people are doing the same thing!

I strongly believe our Republic will survive President Pumpkin Spice. After all, we've been governed by liars, promise breakers, opportunists, and flip-floppers for 250 years or so already.

And there's only 2 years til you can send him a message by changing Congress and another 2 after that til you can vote him out. And if the Republican majority in Congress keeps growing, I guess a lot more people will come to understand why some of us really don't like democracy all that much.

As for now, contact your representatives and tell them how you feel and what you don't want to see happen in the next 2 years.

For my part, I will speak out strongly against discrimination, deportation, torture, and militarization as has been my custom. And I welcome and support anyone choosing to use their freedom of speech to protest Trump's actions and choices in office. But I won't speak out against Trump taking office. He won under the system we have. Full Stop.

As the incredibly named Dick Tuck once said, "The people have spoken....the bastards"





Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Wisdom of Paul H. Krugman

Feast your eyes people:


"It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?

Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.

Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never."

Oh my. Looks like Paul caught a bad case of Wolfers-itis.


Oh, or maybe Paul, the opposite of never, like when the exchanges opened Wednesday morning?


As of 3:30 EST Dow is up 1.5%.

Up!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

We MUST Do SOMETHING!

Sometimes, all that matters is that you say you will do something.  Found this out in 2008, running for office.  And wrote about it here, for Learn Liberty Blog.

Of course, things can get a little meta.  As here. 


I understand that "environmentalists" will donate money and contribute outrage even if the non-profits swindling them make empty promises.  But c'mon:  You have to pretend to try.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

No Causal Connection Between Sugar-Sodas, Fast Food, Candy, and Obesity

For almost everyone, there is no relationship between access to fast food and candy, and obesity.

Fast food, soft drink and candy intake is unrelated to body mass index for 95% of American adults

David Just & Brian Wansink
Obesity Science & Practice,
December 2015, Pages 126–130

Methods: Using 2007–2008 Centers for Disease Control's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the consumption incidence of targeted foods on two non-continuous days was examined across discrete ranges of BMI. Data were analysed in 2011. Results: After excluding the clinically underweight and morbidly obese, consumption incidence of fast food, soft drinks or candy was not positively correlated with measures of BMI. This was true for sweet snacks (r = 0.005, p  l.t.e. 0.001) and salty snacks (r = 0.001, p = 0.040). No significant variation was found between BMI subcategories in weekly consumption frequency of fast food meals.

Conclusions: For 95% of this study's sample, the association between the intake frequency of fast food, soft drinks and candy and BMI was negative. This result suggests that a strategy that focuses solely on these problem foods may be ineffective in reducing weight. Reducing the total calories of food eaten at home and the frequency of snacking may be more successful dieting advice for the majority of individuals.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Capitalism and Objectivification

Wow!  Even by the amazing low standards of Sociology, this is bad.  

Socialism and communism literally objectify the individual, who exists only as a means of advancing the interests of the state.  There is no individual, and no valid reason for people to have rights, separate from their membership in and contributions to the state.  Capitalism, according to Marx, objectifies LABOR, but in a voluntary exchange the only way to get labor is to pay the person.  The labor, and in fact the bodies, of citizens are entirely owned by the state under collectivism.

So, as usual, the goofballs of the left have it backwards:  Capitalism celebrates the individual, and collectivism destroys the individual.


The love of money results in objectification
Xijing Wang & Eva Krumhuber
British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract: Objectification, which refers to the treatment of others as objectlike things, has long been observed in capitalism. While the negative impact of money on interpersonal harmony has been well documented, the social cognitive processes that underlie them are relatively unknown. Across four studies, we explored whether the love of money leads to objectification, while controlling for social power and status. In Study 1, the love and importance attached to money positively predicted the tendency to construe social relationships based on instrumentality. In Study 2, the likelihood to favour a target of instrumental use was increased by momentarily activating an affective state of being rich. Temporarily heightening the motivation for money further resulted in deprivation of mental capacities of irrelevant others, including humans (Study 3) and animals (Study 4). This lack of perceived mental states partially mediated the effects of money on subsequent immoral behaviour (Study 4). The findings are the first to reveal the role of objectification as a potential social cognitive mechanism for explaining why money often harms interpersonal harmony.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Help us Divided Government; You're our only hope!

People, one thing I know for sure is that I really really don't want either of the two leading fools running for president to have any chance to enact their policy agenda.

It's currently popular to argue that voters are ignorant and biased, but hell, so are the candidates!

So as my title indicates, I'm making a plea for our good friend Divided Government to save us yet again.

If you are so messed up that you are gonna vote for HRC, then please please please vote Republican in your congressional race(s) (House and maybe Senate).

If you are so moronic that you are gonna vote for Trump, then it's kind of your moral duty to vote Democrat in the congressional races.

My own preference would be for HRC to be prez but the republicans continue to hold both legislative branches. Her brand of lawlessness I think is more amenable to congressional checks than the Trumpster's.

If you vote for Gary Johnson (and if I vote, that's who I'll vote for), please please please vote for the party that you think is going to lose the presidency when you vote for congress!

So that's it. Pretty simple. You don't need a lot of information. If you somehow conquer your gag reflex and make it to the polls, split your ballot.